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DEATH BATTLE!

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"It's time for a death battle!"

Death Battle! (stylised in all caps) is a YouTube web series. It is hosted by Ben "Wizard" Singer and Chad "Boomstick" James presented by ScrewAttack. The show pits two or more fictional characters from different medias such as movies, comics, manga, television programs, literature, video games, mythology, advertisements, PSAs, or even real-life figures on occasion, to create a simulated battle to the death. The characters are analyzed with their respective powers, strengths, and weaknesses, to determine a winner.

Why It Wins a Death Battle

  1. The biggest thing that draws people towards the series is the concept of dream crossovers clashes coming to life, not only having the featured combatants duke it out using their full skillsets and arsenal, but also interact and exchange banter with each other.
    • Some of the show's best battles subvert the "rivalry" gimmick, and instead have the fighters respect and compliment each other's skill, with the killing blow just being an unfortunate consequence of not holding back rather than actual murderous intent. Good examples of episodes like these would be "All Might vs Might Guy"[1] and "Yoda vs King Mickey."[2]
    • On the flipside, when it is a battle between villains, it can be very entertaining when they are both equally disrespectful, and have absolutely zero concern for any lives that may be lost in the crossfires of their fisticuffs. Good examples of episodes like these would be "Goku Black vs Reverse Flash"[3] and "Omni-Man vs Homelander."[4]
  2. Many of the matchups featured can be very interesting, with combatants that share enough similarities and contrasts to make their interactions with each other interesting.
  3. When the combatants are given dialogue, their voice actors do a great job impersonating iconic performances. Sometimes, they might even get the original voice actor to reprise their character.
    • In "Ganondorf vs Dracula,"[5] Ganondorf is given a voice actor, despite the fact that he has never fully spoken in official media at the time, and yet, his VA, William T. Sopp (who also voiced Ramsey Murdoch in Epithet Erased),[6] does an amazing job at giving him a fitting voice.
  4. Regardless of the outcome, both fighters and their respective series are respected, with many fanservice moments and Easter Eggs that those familiar with the combatants will enjoy.
  5. Sometimes, battles will feature more than 2 characters, making the interactions even more fun. Great examples of this include:
    1. "Solid Snake vs Sam Fisher"[7]
    2. "Dante vs Bayonetta"
    3. "Ratchet & Clank vs Jak & Daxter"[8]
    4. "Power Rangers VS Voltron"[9]
  6. The series is versatile, with many different styles, such as sprite animation, 3D animation, hand-drawn animation, and even live action on occasion. "Saitama vs Popeye" even manages to utilize more than one animation style for its battle, making the fight all the more grand.
  7. Battles are also accompanied with original music, usually composed by Brandon Yates and/or Therewolf Media.[10] The battle music is always made to fit the tone of the fight, reference iconic tunes from the featured series, or be entirely original while still sounding true to the series they're representing. Some of the show's best scores include:
    1. "Wings of Iron"[11]
    2. "Emerald Heroes"[12]
    3. "Mighty"[13]
    4. "Ikari!"[14]
    • Both Brandon Yates[15] and Therewolf Media[16] take music commissions, where they make scores for highly requested matchups that haven't happened yet. Two notable commissioned tracks include:
    1. "This Heartless Empire"[17]
    2. "RatedAForAwesome"[18]
    • Both songs are over 10 minutes long, though the former actually got used in a DBX,[19] and the latter being a match between Death Battle Discord members.[citation needed]
  8. The hosts, Wiz and Boomstick, can be pretty entertaining, and their rundowns on the fighters may give people a newfound appreciation in characters they thought they were already familiar with, or even introduce new characters and series to them entirely.
  9. The Death Battle Crew are also very interactive with their audience, engaging in Community Death Battles where they debate over highly requested matchups on the Death Battle Cast, and if it has enough potential and a good enough demand, it might even become a full-fledged episode.
  10. Ultimately, the show is at its best when everything comes together to feel like a genuine crossover made by fans who truly appreciate the characters and series they are presenting.

Bad Qualities

  1. Early seasons' animation is sub-par when compared to later ones, and while the later season have higher production value, it comes at the cost of a shorter length.
  2. Jokes delivered by the hosts can be very hit or miss, such as the overused Boomstick dad and beer jokes. At their absolute worst, they can be extremely mean-spirted and disrespectful towards the character they're covering, like the time they called Michelangelo a retard in the webisode "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Battle Royale," or the blatant misogyny that's present in "Zelda vs Peach."[citation needed] Thankfully, the show has outgrown it's early edginess over time.
  3. The character rundowns can sometimes misrepresent a character, such as:
    1. Knuckles looks like a total dumbass in "Donkey Kong vs Knuckles," using the backstory and feats of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! instead of the actual games for Kirby in "Kirby VS Majin Buu."
    2. Characterizing King Dedede as some goofy anti-hero in "Wario vs King Dedede" despite him being a true wholesome hero with a genuinely great early redemption, and making Superman out to be some boring overpowered unrelatable character in Goku VS Superman 2 out of spite.[20]
    3. It is a little disappointing how often they just use the most basic surface level jokes for characters, like "Kirby is a world-devouring demon," "Amy Rose is a creepy stalker," and "why don't Mario and Peach have sex?" Things like that make certain character representations feel like a bad edgy parody instead of a crossover that's trying to be as genuine to the source materials as possible.
    • There are also some factual/lore errors for the characters featured in the episodes. For example, in "Godzilla vs. Gamera," they claimed that Godzilla died 4 times, when in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, his was still alive as his dismembered heart was still beating, and in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II, Godzilla wasn't dead - he was paralyzed after Super MechaGodzilla destroyed his secondary brain located in his torso. He has only died in the original 1954 Gojira and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. There are also several errors in "Hercules vs Sun Wukong" that were pointed out in an article written by an expert of Journey to the West.[21]
    • Keep in mind this has nothing to do with powerscaling, just the way characters are represented. As Death Battle! has many viewers who get introduced to characters and their respective media of origin through the show, it's very likely many have gotten the wrong idea about the characters mentioned above (and more) purely off of what they have been shown.
  4. Fighters can be portrayed annoyingly out of character at times. Many of the battle scenarios start over petty reasons because of this, such as Character A stealing and/or ruining Character B's food. Sometimes, there isn't even any context given for the fight, such as Weiss VS Mitsuru, Miles Morales VS Static, and Flash VS Sonic. Having these iconic heroes become bloodlusted for petty or no reasons for the sake of a battle can feel disrespectful. One of the worst examples would be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Battle Royale, where the iconic brothers remorselessly kill each other in cold blood for no reason.
    • Aside from making nice characters bloodlusted, other aspects of their characters may not be done justice. Mario's jovial and whimsical nature is barely present in both his battles against Sonic, who is equally misrepresented as a "dick." Scout from Team Fortress 2, known for his speed and taunts, spends most of his fight against Tracer walking at normal speed, and what's worse, they didn't even let him say "frick," not even once! And again, Knuckles and King Dedede did not get the most flattering of portrayals either. These are only a few examples, and there are probably more.
  5. It can get tiresome having comic/manga superheroes/supervillains featured back-to-back, which happens a lot. It took 10 years, 8 seasons, and 144 episodes for the show to finally feature a character from an animated film (Po from Kung Fu Panda), and up to that point, they have already featured 81 comic book characters.
  6. Episodes like "Red vs Blue" and "The Seven Battle Royale" lack the fun crossover element that makes the show special, and are obviously just flashy advertisements made to promote the shows featured.
  7. The show has budgetary constraints on episode length and animation style, so some episodes may not do popularly requested matchups justice, such as Danny Phantom VS Jake Long and Steven Universe VS Star Butterfly being sprite animated rather than hand-drawn, and Macho Man VS Kool-Aid Man being extremely short, with the actual fight taking a backseat to the "Boomstick's Dad" storyline.
    • Actually, what the show deems worthy of which animation style can be baffling at times, for example: Blake VS Mikasa was intentionally animated on 2s to imitate the style of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (source), however Miles Morales VS Static, the battle that actually features the protagonist of Into the Spider-Verse himself, was done in sprite animation instead! And Batgirl VS Spider-Gwen, which actually WAS done in 3D, wasn't animated on 2s and isn't stylized at all!
    • While this is a minor nitpick that may not be an issue for casual viewers, it's lame how the sprite animation never fully commits to the way sprites are actually animated in games, having the sprites rotate, sometimes being rigged like puppets, and sometimes having inconsistent pixel sizes. While this is excusable in earlier seasons, now most of the sprites they use are custom made specifically for the show, which raises the question: what's the point anymore? Danny VS Jake and Steven VS Star both used sprites, but they were animated as puppet rigs and the sprites were custom made to imitate the style of the shows, so why not go all the way? It wouldn't cost more to have the assets be hand-drawn, in fact, it would likely take less time than doing it pixel by pixel, only to be animated using the same techniques as animating a hand-drawn show!
  8. Sometimes, they use fan-made sprites and renders without giving proper credit, such as:
    1. "Godzilla vs Gamera"[22]
    2. Bowser vs Ganon"[23]
  9. Some bad episodes such as these.
    1. "Deadpool VS Pinkie Pie" (Most notably for it's censorship as the episode takes place in a TV-Y7 world, and no one really fights in the video that much. No one really dies at the end, and Deadpool and Pinkie Pie become friends)

Notable good webisodes of this series

Death Battle!

  1. "Solid Snake vs Sam Fisher"[24]
  2. "Ratchet & Clank vs Jak & Daxter"[25]
  3. "Power Rangers vs Voltron"[26]
  4. "Balrog vs TJ Combo"[27]
  5. "Samurai Jack vs Afro Samurai"[28]
  6. "Optimus Prime vs Gundam"[29]
  7. "Ganondorf vs Dracula"[30]
  8. "All Might vs Might Guy"[31]
  9. "Goro vs Machamp"[32]
  10. "Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Kakashi"[33]
  11. "Yoda vs King Mickey"[34]
  12. "Link vs Cloud"[35]
  13. "Goku Black vs Reverse-Flash"[36]
  14. "DIO vs Alucard"[37]
  15. "Saitama vs Popeye"[38]
  16. "Tanjiro vs Jonathan Joestar"[39]

DBX

  1. "Bendy vs Cuphead"[40]
  2. "Lucario vs Blaziken"[41]
  3. "Palpatine vs Xehanort"[42]
  4. "Goomba vs Koopa II"[43]

Videos

References

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2ElPGBm9Bo
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDKUamxUhwM
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDTVSeMZnI
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMoL5VMN4-A
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IafWtxX5GQ
  6. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHACfIDFF66rxMt46cSoVxUulvL3bKluM
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrvEWWYLDHM
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKoeSRhF1nc
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39NZNqI9sbs
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UhguuEX9Tg
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZkUDcmhSDc
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTKatLk2TWY
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmpEABVoqmk
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbZyPJE0pEo
  15. https://www.youtube.com/c/TheBrandonMYates
  16. https://www.youtube.com/c/TherewolfMedia
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZXNcsv1sxE
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QW-X6OtdO
  19. https://youtu.be/eFQ0q7Vo29g
  20. https://youtu.be/pAVUI5w3Qt0
  21. https://journeytothewestresearch.com/2022/06/18/hercules-vs-sun-wukong-death-battle-analysis/
  22. https://twitter.com/alcanterdraws/status/1280529697055617024
  23. https://twitter.com/mitsamemario/status/1431301004490903557
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrvEWWYLDHM
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKoeSRhF1nc
  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39NZNqI9sbs
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5De-wnfqto
  28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzR7C2kyzFM
  29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyh2iO0rCh4
  30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IafWtxX5GQ
  31. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2ElPGBm9Bo
  32. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZXGw3Q25Ys
  33. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Cs6mZsGok
  34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDKUamxUhwM
  35. https://youtu.be/hOot-I1KtLs
  36. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDTVSeMZnI
  37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Svx4h73n_A
  38. https://youtu.be/7UhguuEX9Tg
  39. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1p8m6SiF60
  40. https://youtu.be/v4MMIV9eXys
  41. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T62XlxRrUCo
  42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFQ0q7Vo29g
  43. https://youtu.be/2cqlqqdTNAQ

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